Bits ‘n Pieces for August 15, 2013

News and notes from around the interweb:

  • Cranky Flier walks through a few of the markets where the Department of Justice claims that an American – US Airways merger would constitute a violation of anti-trust law. Doesn’t look good for DOJ, and I’m increasingly wondering if DOJ just wanted to get something filed before today’s bankruptcy hearing where the judge was expected to approve the merger — to put a flag down on the play. But the rhetoric of the brief was stronger than I’d have expected if that were true (more difficult to walk back from), so I’m still not sure.

  • Pizza in Motion interviews the heads of the MGM M Life and Hyatt Gold Passport programs for

  • Lucky says that the increase in price of Delta SKymiles business class awards for travel starting next June has brought with it better award availability on Air France. I’m not so sure — the best match between Delta’s and Flying Blue’s availability for awards on Air France has been 10-11 months out, and this was true last summer when availability between the two programs originally diverged. And indeed, this is largely a period where the Air France program does not yet have access to Air France seats — Flying Blue offers awards to general members only 300 days out. We need to wait and see how this holds up after a few months…

  • The hotel loyalty program formerly known as Priority Club is closing its online shopping portal August 20th. No more points earning for online purchases in the Priority Club program. No great loss, I never once used that portal since the earnings there were comparatively very weak. Presumably this is a contractual issue between IHG Rewards and the company that was managing the shopping portal, and perhaps it wasn’t performing especially well. I do not see this as a harbinger of things to come with other portals.

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About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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